20 prominent piracy sites have been blocked by a district court in Denmark, in the latest move from a Scandinavian country fighting back against online piracy. The action stems from the continued hard work of Rights Alliance, who earlier this year achieved a block on 12 other important sites in Denmark’s piracy ecosystem.
Similar blocks have been achieved around Europe this year, leading to a feeling of renewed impetus in the creative community that the fight back against those who trade on their work without permission
Even against that backdrop of increased activity across the continent, there is something especially satisfying about seeing progress made in Scandinavia. The region is very much at the forefront of music streaming, in both legal and unlicensed channels, making it something of a symbolic battle in the wider war to stamp out content theft.
Two of the most recognized names at both ends of the spectrum, Spotify on the legal streaming side and The Pirate Bay on the illegal side, both started in Sweden. The tug of war between each side has been tumultuous in recent years but there are now signs that legal streaming is forging ahead, while illegal sites face an uphill battle against increasingly vigilant authorities.
And it isn’t just blocks and punishment of piracy that Denmark is focusing on to curb illegal activity.
Back in May, the Danish Ministry of Culture announced important new partnerships with prominent technology companies and ISPs, aimed at promoting ethical content consumption online.
That initiative focused more on non-legislative solutions, such as working with ISPs to weed out sites that facilitate piracy and encouraging digital advertising networks to shut off the flow of ad income to piracy sites, which the Digital Citizens Alliance continues to report as a key motivator for those who trade on unlicensed content.
In this microcosm of the streaming content world we see in play the three pillars of the anti-piracy fight that can make a difference across the macro environment:
- 1) Legal alternatives to piracy sites,
- 2) Initiatives to educate consumers about those sites and explain the damage that piracy sites do to creators, alongside partnerships to cut off ad revenue,
- 3) Punitive measures to deter owners of piracy sites and the ability to take them offline if they persist in sharing unlicensed content.
There has been an imbalance in the past, due to a lack of legal streaming sites in the mainstream consciousness and limited efforts to cut off ad revenue to their illegal peers. Now, with all three pillars firmly established and gaining traction, it looks like creators will finally be able to push back on the pirates, with Scandinavia showing us the way forward.